DEFENDER differentiated by ADT

As ADT’s first ‘Premier Provider’, DEFENDER will work more closely with ADT on testing, other projects
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS—DEFENDER Direct has long been ADT’s top dealer. Now DEFENDER and ADT have formed a new partnership in which they’ll be collaborating on new initiatives.

DEFENDER, based here, has a new title—ADT Authorized Premier Provider—and is the first dealer to be awarded that designation, according to ADT.

“DEFENDER’s role as an Authorized Premier Provider will open doors for our two organizations to work closely together on some exciting initiatives,” Cheryl Stopnick, director of dealer communications for ADT Security Services, told Security Systems News in an email interview.

Stopnick declined to be specific about the initiatives, saying it’s “still very early in the collaboration process.” However, she said, Boca Raton, Fla.-based ADT and DEFENDER are “exploring several ideas we can work on together that will deliver [a] great customer experience.”  

In business since 1998, DEFENDER has about 2,000 employees in 48 states and 143 branch offices nationwide.

Stopnick said ADT awarded the designation first to DEFENDER “for the significant number of customers they bring to ADT, their level of customer service, the sophistication of their operation, and their scale and nationwide footprint.”

Jim Boyce, DEFENDER’s new president, also declined to go into details about how the two companies will collaborate but said one of DEFENDER’s roles as a Premier Provider will be “doing some additional testing with and on behalf of ADT that will benefit us, ADT, as well as all the dealers.” He added, “That’s one of our strengths, the ability to test new programs and continually improve on those programs.”

DEFENDER announced in June that Boyce, who has been the company’s COO since 2011, was being promoted to president. He’ll also retain his COO title.

There was a restructuring at the top of DEFENDER last year, with CEO and president Marcia Barnes exiting and company founder David Lindsey stepping in to take her place.

With Boyce now president, Lindsey will continue to be CEO of the company.

Boyce, formerly an executive at Convergys and Procter & Gamble, said he works closely with DEFENDER’S board, its leadership team and with Lindsey. “I benefit from him and his perspectives every single day,” Boyce said.

In a news release, DEFENDER credited the leadership of Boyce, who joined DEFENDER’s Board of Advisors two years before becoming COO, with helping the company “grow dramatically.”

Previously published figures on DEFENDER list the company as generating 175,000 to 200,000 accounts per year. Boyce declined to comment on specific figures, but told SSN: “We are meeting and exceeding our growth goals.”

He said the last quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of this year were each an “an all-time record quarter.” He added, “We’re having good success getting things done that are also important to our ADT partner, moving into home automation and driving record levels of [ADT] Pulse take rates.”

ADT in the past year has culled some dealers who lacked the technological expertise to provide interactive services.

Boyce said DEFENDER has a “unique” business philosophy. “At DEFENDER, we are called to grow and inspire leaders to love and serve people. And we believe everyone is a leader; you don’t have to be president of the company to be a leader,” Boyce said. He added, “We believe strongly that businesses don’t grow, people do.”

The company invests in its employees with such benefits as tuition reimbursement programs, reading clubs and providing financial and other help with adoptions, he said. “We want to encourage people at DEFENDER, if it’s God’s will, that they pursue developing a family, not just developing our business,” Boyce said.

Company employees also go on mission trips to help build homes for those in need, he said.

Boyce said that caring culture filters down to customers. For example, the company calls its technicians “security advisors … [and] their intent is to love, serve and protect our customers, to bring them peace of mind. We don’t talk in terms of selling the customer and this is more than just a play on words. We talk in terms of … upserving the customer.”

He added, “We couldn’t do it without ADT and Tyco Security Products. I can’t praise them enough about the partnership.”